This week the American Medical Association (AMA) announced the launch of its first smartphone app called CPT E/M QuickRef, a reference guide that helps physicians determine the appropriate CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code to use for billing. The AMA also launched a medical app contest for physicians and medical students.
“Compatible with Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad, the app features both decision-tree logic and quick search options, allowing physicians to digitally track CPT codes and email them anywhere,” according to the AMA’s iPhone app description. “Physicians can also save their most frequently used codes by location or type of service to allow for even more ease of use.”
The app carries a caveat: “This app provides suggested codes,” the AMA wrote. “Final code selection remains the full responsibility of the individual user.”
The AMA 2011 App Challenge is looking for ideas for apps from physicians, medical students and residents, which the AMA will then “bring to life.” Winners get $2,500 (cash and prizes) and a ticket to New Orleans to watch the “unveiling” of their app at the AMA’s annual gathering later this year.
“The AMA’s new CPT quick reference app helps physicians determine the appropriate E&M code for billing quickly, easily and accurately,” AMA Board Secretary Steven J. Stack, M.D. stated in the association’s press release. “To find the next great medical app idea we are going right to the source by inviting physicians, residents and medical students to participate in the first-ever AMA App Challenge.”
Assuming Stack was referring to the CPT quick reference app as the most recent “great medical app idea,” our research shows at least 46 other developers beat the AMA to the punch. MobiHealthNews’ last survey of the health-related apps available for the major smartphone platforms found that 46 apps were available to download from Apple’s AppStore as of September 2010. This group of apps grew 170 percent over the six months leading up to our survey — in February 2010 there were only 17 apps that helped healthcare providers look up billing codes. (More in our apps report: The Fastest Growing and Most Successful Health & Medical Apps.)
For more on the AMA’s app and app challenge, see the press release below: Keep reading>>